Extension to Period of Grace

The period of grace runs for a period of six calendar months from the time of completion of training as indicated on an ARCP form, normally referred to as the CCT date. The period of grace starts when training is deemed to have been completed whether or not a CCT is applied for by the trainee. The period of grace is provided to enable doctors who have completed training to find employment, usually in a consultant level post.

It may be that doctors with a CCT have difficulty in obtaining a consultant level post. In these situations the Postgraduate Dean may offer a further, time-limited, contract in the Specialist Registrar grade. Trainees who have been training flexibly will be offered the same extension in calendar months, there is no pro rata modification. Such extension contracts will be considered if:-

  • There is a shortage of available consultant level posts
  • There is a continuing national need for consultants in the specialty
  • Active attempts have been made to apply for posts which have been advertised
  • No geographical restrictions have been applied to applications
  • No artificial sub-specialist restrictions have been made to applications
  • There are no available locum posts, and
  • The Training Programme Director supports the extension (there should be clear reasons for with-holding such support)

The term of the extension contract will be appropriate to the specialty and local circumstances, and will not be further extended.

Doctors in these posts will be expected to avail themselves of all opportunities to gain consultant level experience such as by undertaking locum posts. They are also expected to make continuing efforts to obtain a consultant level post. As these doctors have now completed training they will not be expected to undertake research and other training oriented sessions except as explicitly agreed with their employer. 

Maternity leave taken during the period of grace will not reduce the period of grace. The period of grace will be suspended when maternity leave starts, and will continue when maternity leave ends.

This guidance should cover most eventualities, however exceptional cases will be discussed on an individual basis in relation to availability to apply for posts and extension may be given after consideration by the Postgraduate Dean.

Doctors who have completed training are advised to keep a log-book of their efforts to obtain a consultant level post. Such a log-book could contain, for example, details of posts advertised, posts applied for and outcomes of applications.

Remember that trainees can begin to apply for consultant posts six months before their CCT date, and hence before they have been awarded their CCT if progress has been satisfactory and it is anticipated that the outcome of their ARCP will recommend that training will be completed by the time the anticipated CCT is reached.